You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. ~Titus 2:1
I looked. I searched out the scriptures for key words such as “tolerate”, “passive”, and “silent”, but I could not find a single scripture that calls for Christians to clothe themselves with those attitudes.
I explored scriptures that call for us to leave peaceful lives. But, I found those to be sandwiched between instructions for us to actively reject evil.
For example 1 Thessalonians 5:13b states “Live in peace with each other.” On the surface, it sounds as if peace is an endpoint that we should be striving to achieve. However, pulling that out of context misses the full intent of the passage. Verses 12-14 state,
“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Verses 19-22 go onto say,
“Do not quench the spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”
Yes, we are to strive to live in peace with each other, but at no point is it ever indicated that this comes at the exclusion of calling out evil. Each scripture I looked at regarding peace never sacrifices tolerating sin as a means to obtain it.
However, the scripture are full of examples regarding teaching, preaching and rebuking. All of these are active, outspoken means by which we are to share the gospel.
We live in a culture today that wants us to accept the attitude that “I’m okay; you’re okay; we are all okay.” But no matter how I look through the Bible, I cannot find scripture to support Christian tolerance. We are commanded,
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” ~Galatians 6:1
Of this research, the scripture that has stood out to me most is:
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out son; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. ~ 2 Timothy 4: 2-5
We have reached that time. Our society is full of itching ears, ears that no longer want to hear the truth, ears that search out ways to adapt scripture to condone their choices. And, instead of instruction to tolerate and accept, we are commanded to “correct, rebuke and encourage.”
For those bothered by a Christian speaking out about the Bibles instruction please understand that this is what we are commanded to do. Speaking on a personal note, at times it would be so much easier to accept our cultures slogan of tolerance. I do not like open confrontation. But, I can’t. I can’t look at you and say “That’s okay.” when scripture clearly says otherwise.
I will leave you with what our ultimate commandment is:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ~Matthew 28:19-20
There is nothing encouraging a passive approach to our faith. We must not be silent.